Luca Zaia, the governor of Italy’s Veneto region, confirmed today that the Venice Film Festival intends to stick to its planned September schedule. The dates for the international festival are September 2 to Sept. 12 and would mark the first major film industry event that isn’t postponed or cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic.
This confirmation comes days after the Venice Biennale, an organization that oversees major arts events, moved its Biennale of Architecture to 2021 but maintained the film festival’s fall dates. In the past, the architecture and film festivals were meant to run concurrently, but because the architectural event required the construction of new pavilions, the launch date had to be pushed back.
Zaia reported that the Venice festival will host fewer films due to the unprecedented global production halts. Venice had declared that it would not take the virtual route, but made clear that to implement health safeguards, it would host virtual screening rooms for the filmmakers, actors, and producers unable to attend but have been previously accredited. The festival has not yet commented on plans for September.
The lineup is typically announced in late July. Back in January, it was announced that Cate Blanchett would be president of the main competition jury this year. Previously in 2019, the festival saw its top prize, the Golden Lion, go to Todd Phillips’s Joker in 2019, Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma in 2018, and Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water in 2017.
In Italy, nearly 230K people have contracted the virus with a death toll of 32,785, and was the first location in Europe hit especially hard by the coronavirus. However, new cases have significantly decreased, and the country will open its borders to European travelers on June 3rd. This weekend, Italians were able to go to beaches and, starting Monday, fitness clubs, sports centers and pools will return to operations. On June 15, cinemas are expected to run again with social distancing measures in place.